Photo credit: Hararie Japan
Now that school has closed for the Christmas/New Year/winter vacation, we need to come up again for a plan on Pristine’s activities at home. Unlike last summer, at least it’s cool outside so my mom (who takes care of her while I work, bless her heart!) can take her to the nearby park to play. They will be going back to school on the 4th of January 2010 yet so she has almost three weeks of staying at home.
I’ve started to introduce her to the Japanese alphabet, starting with Hiragana and amazingly, she has put up so well like she’s made to do this! Hiragana (Hee-rah-gahnah) is the basic Japanese language alphabet. It has 46 characters total and some of the characters can have marks added to them to change their pronunciation. It is the first step to learning the Japanese language…or as I view it, looking back to the days when I was a newbie in Japan: the first step to your worst nightmare.
I am not a good homeschooler with my very short patience and I’m so lucky I didn’t have to belt out my bitchy tone when my student couldn’t get it. I know, I need to get rid of this awful behavior and be a proper educator mother. I hate myself when I find myself impatient and being cross. Any ideas where I can buy a bucketful of patience?
So we have a day to day schedule and since I am not hurrying her up – we do 1-2 alphabets per day until we finish with the first 46. She writes it so many times, following the proper stroke order until she memorizes it then I check it and give her a sort of spelling test when I get home from work.
Pristine doesn’t get any proper Japanese language education in school because she’s enroled in an international school following the British curriculum. There she learns English (the medium of instruction), Arabic (mandatory for all private school in the UAE) and French as a “second” language – obviously they don’t know how to count! She’s fairing well with Arabic and French – at least as seen in how she writes and speaks it – to which I do NOT understand ANY! Regarding her Japanese studies, I thought it would be great to expose her to her father’s native language while she’s young as children have an amazing power to act like a sponge and absorb anything thrown at them.
At first, I thought there’d be any kind of resistance but as days pass, she’s getting more motivated and very eager to one day finally memorize all the Hiragana characters and read a Japanese story book (in Hiragana) I read to her at night, by herself. Last night she said, “Mom, I want to be able to read like you!”
I’m looking forward to that day too!
By the way, it’s her 6th birthday today.